He had a vision once, William Booth. He tells the story of the time when he was travelling in a coach, and he was thinking about the millions of people in his own country, who lived in opened rebellion against God, addicted to their sin and ignoring Christ. He said that at this moment I had a vision.
“I saw a dark and stormy ocean, over the top were deep dark clouds, and the wind moaned and the waves would rise up, tower, foam, crashing down only to rise up again, and then he said I noticed in the ocean, that it was filled with millions and millions of people. Poor humans screaming, cursing, crying out, dying . Well that was until I noticed that in the middle of the ocean was a mighty rock, rising out of the ocean. All around the base of this rock I saw had been build vast platforms. I noticed with delight that a few of these poor wretches would be washed unto these platforms and climb out to safety. Then I noticed that others who had already been saved in that way, working hard on the platform with ladders, ropes, boats and any other means possible to rescue other. They would sacrifice themselves, endanger their own lives, they were entirely wrapped up in their effort to save others from the dark ocean.
But as I kept looking, I saw that there were a multitude of others, who took no part in the rescue. They were busy with all other kinds of other past times. What puzzled me though is that they themselves had been rescued at onetime, yet they seemed to show no concern for others who were perishing. And this inspite the fact that they regularly attended lectures which told of how awful it was to be unsaved, and how wonderful it was to be safe and on the rock. Some of these people were absorbed in study and business, in order to make great profits which they could store away. Others amused themselves with constant paintings, sports, music, clothing or tours around the Island. Although, those on the platform said that they would obey their Lord, They didn’t seem to hear him calling, calling to them from down in the sea to where he himself had gone.
Anyhow if they did hear him they did not feel as they had time to work with him. And I noticed something very odd indeed. Those people on the platform were always calling on Him to come to them, to make them happier, to assure them that they would never fall off the rock. To answer some doubts and troubles they had with the letters he had sent to them. Sometimes they would get together at the top of the rock and look across to the mainland where they imagined He dwelled, and cry, oh come to us, oh come and bless us please. And all this while this great being was by his spirit, among the poor, blind creatures in the angry deep. Putting his arms around people, pulling and pushing them towards the platform. And as he did so he would look up all so longingly but all so in vain. To those upon the rock, and he would cry out with his voice hoarse from crying, come and help me, come and work with me.
Then I understood. All those in the sea were those cut off from God and perishing. The rock was the cross the only place of safety and forgiveness. And on the rock people used their time and abilities in two basic ways. Either for themselves or the unsaved. They were either passengers or soldiers. My friends do not be deceived by appearances. Men and things are not what they appear to be. If they are not on the rock they are in the sea. Jesus is calling all his people to love as he loves, to see as he sees, to go down to the ocean, to put all they have at his disposal, forget your pride your love of ease, your ambitions, your love of comfort, and come down to where you are needed. We’ve had a very nice time as Christian, much fun, much joyful singing, many nice outings. Go now and tell him that you will heed his voice, and go down and spend yourselves for the perishing.
William Booth finishes up by saying, now what will you do?